“I couldn’t keep up with the paperwork. I’d go home every night and worry about the piles of un-posted invoices. I never felt successful.”This employee had worked at our company for twelve years as an Accounts Payable Associate. She managed the payables for eight of our stores. Invoices came in daily. Having ALL of the invoices posted at any one time was an unattainable goal. She would never be 100% caught up.
Several times over the last couple of years, she’s complained about her piles of unfinished paperwork and I’ve always discredited her concerns especially when she suggested hiring additional staff. As long as she had the previous month’s invoices posted (and she always did) by the time I closed that month’s financial statements I considered her keeping up. Instead I would recommend more efficient ways she could perform her job.A few weeks ago, just the two of us were in on a Saturday, she took this as an opportunity to discuss her workload and our company’s plans to build a new store this year. This would mean even more work for my employee. I again discussed the changes she needs to make in her position to take advantage of technology and become more efficient. I offered to help her. She still uses an outdated version of our accounting software that does not support some of the new features required for her job. She asked if we would consider hiring additional staff. I again told her no.
The following Monday she resigned. She plans on working for her son at his business.This employee hates change with a passion and pushes back when our company requires her to do so, but this does not mean she wasn’t successful. As she was about to leave for good I asked her to come into my office, but was interrupted by our company’s President so I included him in my conversation. I told him she hadn’t felt successful at our company and the two of us rattled off all the reasons why she was a success. I could count on one hand the mistakes she had made. She never voided checks while her predecessor would hand my boss several voided checks daily. We received more returned checks mailed to the wrong vendor in one day under her predecessor than during the entire 12 years this employee worked at our company. Our President chimed in with how she got along with everyone (he feels this is more important than her accuracy). He thanked her for handling all of those irate payable vendors during the recession with such diplomacy and pleasantness. He then told her if she ever decided she wanted to come back he would find a spot for her.
I hope she left feeling like a success.Personally, I currently feel more successful than I have in the past. My husband’s semi-retirement at the end of last year has freed-up my time so I can devote more of it to work without worrying about cleaning and errands. As much as I complained about the work conference I attended last month, I returned with new ideas and new energy. I’m also happy with my current blog challenge to live healthy on a budget. I had been floundering in search of a niche that feels like my purpose and think this may be it.
How about you? Do you feel successful? Why or why not?